As Aristotle was one of Plato’s most devoted and bright students, it is interesting to examine the ways in which his Lyceum resembles as well as rivals Plato’s Academy. These two philosophers and their teaching practices became models for schools across Western Europe. Approximately twenty-three centuries later, the lasting impressions and continuous influences these two educators and their schools have on today’s society are remarkable.
Founded in 387 BC, upon Plato’s return to Athens, Plato’s Academy became the most famous educative institution in Greece and a model for universities across Europe.
As more of an association rather than a school, the Academy sought to educate philosophers of how to live guided by philosophy; based on what he learned from Socrates, Plato believed life as a philosopher to be the ultimate accomplishment. People came to Plato’s Academy to study mathematics, science, politics, and philosophy; Plato’s teaching of philosophy was centered on ethics. His teachings of physics and astronomy are known as the first philosophy. There was no specific curriculum at the Academy; however, learners set out to study and solve problems that were posed by Plato himself as well as his colleagues. Dialect, which originates from the Greek word “dialegesthai,” meaning “converse with,” was practiced at the Academy to investigate, argue, and solve problems, using logic as support; Plato saw contemplation as the method in which people should search for conclusions and spread them to others. His focus was less on the material world and more on truths and morals. Plato educated two female students at his Academy, which is unique, as women rarely received an education in Ancient Greece; however, Plato saw no harm in it and b...
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...y form of the scientific method went through many revisions to become what it is today; however, Aristotle’s foundation of empirical research, which tests a hypothesis using observation and experimentation, instigated the formation of the scientific method as it is known today.
The methods of teaching and learning as well as the subjects being taught at Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum may have differed immensely, however their lasting impact on todays society is beyond impressive. Two Greek men who lived approximately twenty-three centuries ago managed to create and innovate concepts of learning in their schools that still exist today. Among these many innovations is the formation of the education system and how it is run as well as a method of scientific research that has transformed into the scientific method taught and used everyday in schools and science.
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